Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday asked public sector banks (PSBs) to fill the backlog vacancies of Scheduled Castes (SCs) in time bound manner and enhance their coverage in all schemes.
In a meeting to review the progress of various government schemes aimed at the welfare and upliftment of SCs, the Finance Minister urged banks to make proper digital records for jobs being outsourced, especially for posts like Safai Karamcharis from October 1.
It was also directed that the redressal of all pending grievances pertaining to the SC community may also be taken up in the special drive by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) from October 2, an official statement said.
She also advised PSBs heads to look into the need for capacity building and entrepreneurship development as SCs constitute about 18 per cent of the total workforce of the banks and financial institutions (FIs).
In the review meeting attended by CEOs of PSBs and FIs, she asked them to provide forward and backward linkages through the convergence of various schemes for SCs by government departments while giving them financial assistance.
She also directed banks to apprise National Commission for Scheduled Castes twice in a year on SC-related credit and recruitment.
The Finance Minister also said that the objective of the meeting was to bring all stakeholders on a common platform to work together in fulfilment of the rights enshrined in the Constitution for the upliftment and betterment of the people from Scheduled Castes.
Sitharaman also observed that performance in schemes like the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), where 21 per cent of the credit linked Self-Help Groups (SHGs) were SCs and in SVANIDHI, which has 19 per cent SCs as the beneficiaries, is satisfactory, it said.
Improvements required to be carried out in all the schemes like the Credit Enhancement Guarantee Scheme for Scheduled Castes (CEGSSC) and the Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes, etc may be taken up by the DFS after discussion with agencies like the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) that are working with scheduled castes at the grassroots level, she said.
The meeting, chaired by the finance minister, saw participation from the chairman and members of the NCSC, the Minister of State for Finance, the financial services secretary and other senior officials.
During the meeting, NCSC Chairman Vijay Sampla urged the bankers to give all the due bank credits to the SCs.